Characteristics of working Canadians associated with poor mental health: a cross-sectional study
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AbstractThis cross-sectional study aimed to identify the characteristics of working Canadians associated with poor mental health. The demographic and occupational characteristics of workers in a representative sample of working Canadians (N=1000) as well as their mental health (anxiety and depression) and help-seeking tendencies (i.e., seeing mental health professionals, accessing employee assistance programs) were assessed via an online survey (October 2019). A prioritization framework identified the characteristics of working Canadians most strongly associated with an increased vulnerability to poor mental health outcomes. Being a younger working Canadian was a consistent and robust predictor of both poorer mental health and a reduced likelihood of seeking help, independent of industry of work, occupation type, gender, province/region of employment, education level, and many other demographics and characteristics. Such findings confirm that this segment of the Canadian working population requires greater attention regarding mental health. Other important predictors of an increased vulnerability to poor mental health outcomes in working Canadians included working in the public sector and in an insecure job. Recommendations for employers based on the study findings are provided to help address psychological health in the workplace and prevent disability.
Keywordworkplace mental health
mental health help-seeking
Employee assistance programs